Examines the concept of “place attachment” as defined in various disciplines and develops an effective conceptual approach that can be applied to facilities management. Describes the development of a model‐matchmaking process adapted from Passini's model of cognitive mapping. Findings that the emergence of the new economy is undermining our ability to form attachments with people, places and companies. However, one of the unintended effects of this is that it has strengthened the value of place and aroused a longing for community. Moreover, loyalty to an organisation is increasingly determined by social and place attachment. Proposes that further research needs to be undertaken to “engineer out” the negative impacts of flexibility associated with loss of place. States that place attachment presents a challenging view of the world that is contrary to all the received wisdom in facilities management, where flexibility has always assumed an unchallenged position in relation to buildings and people. Concludes that this research area presents many pragmatic design and operational questions for facilities managers.
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